Daily Archives: April 29, 2014

Catching Up #6 – A Visit to the Monkey Sanctuary

When we went to the couple’s conference we had a full day off to do sightseeing. The Meldrums suggested that instead of doing the bus tour of Johannesburg that most couples chose, that we could go to the Monkey Sanctuary that was about 90 minutes away. The Taylors volunteered to drive and we made a day of it.

While seeing the monkeys was fun, the best part of the adventure was walking on a raised walkway though the forest with a stream running under us.

March 2014 - MS - Mary sign March 2014 - MS - posing with statueMarch 2014 - MS - Taylors 2 March 2014 - MS - WalkwayMarch 2014 - MS - Suspension bridge 2March 2014 - MS - Crossing waterMarch 2014 - MS - Deadly poisonMarch 2014 - MS - guide and groupMarch 2014 - MS - Mary and waterMarch 2014 - MS - Mary MonkeyMarch 2014 - MS - Mary on bridgeMarch 2014 - MS - Mary on walkwayMarch 2014 - MS - Mary rock wallMarch 2014 - MS - Monkey 2March 2014 - MS - Monkey 3March 2014 - MS - Monkey high in treeMarch 2014 - MS - Monkey on railMarch 2014 - MS - Piggy back baby

Some of the monkeys were not afraid of us and others got away as fast as they could. The picture on the right above is a mother with a little one on her back. Below one came up and seemed to be begging from sister Taylor. The monkey on the right below was about the ugliest one in the park that we saw – he really looks like he is mad at us for invading his space.

March 2014 - MS - Sis Taylor with friendMarch 2014 - MS - Ugly Monkey - close upMarch 2014 - MS - Who you looking atMarch 2014 - MS - Sleeping after lunch

The guide told us that the monkeys eat at set times each day and then curl up in the trees and sleep. The one on the right above seems to be annoyed that he can not eat his lunch without someone taking a picture. The one on the right is sleeping off lunch.

March 2014 - MS - Red DikkurMarch 2014 - MS - Taylors on bridge

Other than monkeys and birds the only animal we saw was a small red duiker – we had seen a number of them on our last mission but only got one picture so I was surprised to see this one in a monkey sanctuary!

March 2014 - MS - Taylors on rocksMarch 2014 - MS - Crossing water

As I mentioned the most striking part of the experience was the beauty of the landscape. Flowing water, rock paths, suspension bridge and a very long raised wood pathway through the trees.

March 2014 - MS - Mary with guideMarch 2014 - MS - Bushbaby

Our faithful guide with Mary who brought out a bushbaby for us to see. Since bushbabies are nocturnal he had to wake this one up. The only other time we saw a bushbaby is when we went on a couples retreat to Tembe Elephant Park on our last mission to South Africa. Somewhere in this blog is some pictures of them in a tree at night – their eyes are huge!

March 2014 - MS - Mary with band 2 March 2014 - MS - CraftsAfter we were finished at the sanctuary the Taylors took us a craft market where there are hundreds of booths all will to sell the tourist something. They are very familiar with our badges so they call out Elder – Sister. We ended buying a nativity set made of banana leaves that is assembled in a beautifully decorated gourd, a red ball gourd with guinea fowl feathers painted on it and a beautiful table runner. As we were getting ready to leave a band set up and Mary and sister Taylor joined in the music making!


Catching Up #5 – The Knowles

One of the great blessing we have had on this mission was the fact that elder and sister Knowles were serving here before we came. They are a great couple who served as branch president and relief society president. They had the daunting task of finding a new place for the branch to meet and then getting it in shape for meetings, storage and offices. I am sure the Lord knew that this was not something we would do very well so sent the Knowles here first.

They lived in Johannesburg to be near her ailing mother and so they drove about 4 hours each day to work in Potchefstroom and Ikageng. In working with them for about a month before they went home, it was easy to see how much they loved the members and how the members loved them. They are truly a hard act to follow but we will try our best.

Knowles - Knowles and Bird Knowles - The Knowles and LoLo

The Knowles with elder Bird who served here as district leader. Then with Lolo who is the humble woman who runs an orphanage with 13 orphans. I will write more about this a little later.

Knowles - The Knowles and members Knowles party - Branch 1

One of the last activities the Knowles organized was a temple trip where 6 members received their endowments and a couple was sealed for time and all eternity. Before they left the branch planned a farewell party.  It was all done by the branch with almost no help from us.

Knowles party - Branch 2 Knowles party - getting gift from Macy

At the party members of the branch expressed their thanks and gave them presents for them to remember the branch. You could tell the expressions of thanks came right from their heart. Just a couple of weeks before they were scheduled to be released sister Knowle’s mother passed away. It was a tender blessing for sister Knowles since her mother had been ill so long.

Knowles party - Members Knowles party - Ncpayai and Knowles Knowles party - Nephew taking pictures